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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  January 7, 2013 11:00pm-12:00am PST

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this is really bad options of managing our affairs. that is a grim conclusion, by the way, that means bond prices will go up, not as much as in default. but it is a grim conclusion that fits the evidence. of course, there is another option, republicans could just do what the congress of the united states is supposed to do. they could pay the bills it has racked up. and if it wants to pay fewer bills in the future and spend less money it can cut spending or raise taxes, which it writes the next budget. you know, the time you're supposed to do that. you know the way we have been doing it for the entire rest of the nation's history before john boehner and the republicans took over the house. during the entire rest of the nation's history when we never came close to purposely faulting on our deletes when we weren't a
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ludicrous banana republic? hagel for defense chief. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with president obama, this country's commander in chief. start with that fact, will you? it's his job to defend this country. and he's done a pretty good job of doing it, don't you think? well, the commander in chief said today he wants a former vietnam enlisted guy to be his secretary of defense, a guy who can't walk through an airport metal detector and not get reminded of the shrapnel he took in that sad but heroic american war. the president wants chuck hagel
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in that post because he thinks like him and has proven he's got the brains to protect this country. hagel long ago proved he's got the heart. don't you think? i don't hate the people trying to stop the president from picking this guy for the job he needs done at the pentagon, but i do recognize their tactics. they're the same ones they used to push the war in iraq. they say they don't like something he said, hagel did, 14 years ago about a gay man being put up for ambassador. i don't like it either, but, a, it was 14 years ago, and, b, i don't think it's got anything to do with why the hawks are opposing him. since when is the right wing of this country so caring for gay rights? as bill clinton would say, give me a break. and this isn't about israel's security any more than it's about ours. the right wants a hawk at defense for all occasions. someone with an itchy trigger finger who has always got a country lined up to go to war with, iraq, afghanistan, iraq again, libya, syria, iran. sorry, the guy you lined up to be president would have picked a person you'd want as defense chief, a real genuine hawk, but mitt romney lost, didn't he? he lost. so keep firing off those anti-hagel columns and editorials, my right wing brothers, and don't worry, you won't get hurt. it's why they don't give you purple hearts for writing op-ed
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pieces like they did chuck hagel for being out there actually defending this country. let's start tonight with former nebraska senator bob kerrey and "the atlantic's" steve clemons. senator, it's always an honor to speak with you. the president today said chuck hagel is an american patriot when he announced the nomination of the former senator from your state to head the pentagon. let's take a listen. >> chuck hagel is the leader that our troops deserve. he is an american patriot. he enlisted in the army and volunteered for vietnam. to this day he bears the scars and shrapnel for battles he fought in our name. we see a decorated combat veteran of character and strength. they see one of their own. most importantly, chuck knows war is not an abstraction. he understands that sending young americans to fight and bleed in the dirt and mud, that's something we only do when it's absolutely necessary. >> well, senator hagel paid
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tribute to the men and women in uniform at the announcement today. let's listen to the nominee himself. >> mr. president, i am grateful for this opportunity to serve our country again and especially its men and women in uniform and their families. these are people that give so much to this nation every day with such dignity and selflessness. this is particularly important at a time as we complete our mission in afghanistan and support the troops and military families who have sacrificed so much over more than a decade of war. >> senator bob kerrey, i have always respected your service to the country. you lost part of a leg for this, and this guy, what is it about nebraska that keeps naming you guys, real wounded warriors, to represent them in washington, and should this guy be secretary of defense? >> well, nebraska is a great
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state. i mean, and the answer is yes. for the men and women who are serving in the army, air force, navy, marine corps, coast guard, active reserve and the guard, this is a great appointment. this man will fight to make certain that our troops get the right equipment, that they get the right training, that they get the right resources in order to get the job done. he will be a great leader for our military, and i'm grateful that the president picked in this case a republican who can actually get the job done. so i'm -- it's a great appointment. if you're serving in our military, if you have served in our military, if you're worried about our nation's security, this is a terrific appointment. >> one thing i have always liked about you is your incredible independence, senator kerrey. what do you think about the senate when you read it right now tonight and you look at the weird anger from people like
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lindsey graham against this nomination and cornyn, which is more obviously partisan. what do you make of the 100 senators and how they're going to vote on this nomination? >> you sort of worry that it could become another one of those litmus test votes as opposed to just an honest judgment about whether or not chuck hagel can serve the country, particularly given the transition, the difficult transition, the budget constraints that the department of defense is facing. rather just answer the question, is he going to be able to fight and lead the pentagon and make certain that our troops get the resources they need, the training they need, the support that they need. rather than focusing on that, they're off looking at whether or not something he said 15 years ago, some policy question and, unfortunately, it may command an awful lot of attention, but i do think at the end of the day that enough republicans and democrats will
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look at chuck hagel, will examine his record, will consider what he's done and what he's capable of doing, and they'll vote to confirm. >> let's take a look at the analysis we just heard from a combat vet himself, medal of honor winner we just talked to, and he's going to be back in a minute. let me ask you about this, steve, the gay rights thing. this country has moved like a blitzkrieg, to use a bad metaphor, for 20, 30 years. i have moved so far. i'm a pretty liberal guy, but i moved -- >> what were you saying 14 years ago? >> i wasn't saying this, but i wasn't going out to get hormel, and i wasn't calling him aggressively gay or stuff about that. what he meant is he's militant. today i look at the numbers, the majority of american people support gay marriage. this country is going through an incredible transition of acceptance, if not celebration, real acceptance. >> i think that's absolutely right. i think it's become a nonissue
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for most. >> yeah. >> and i think that even if you poll the gop party, you find a majority that support gay marriage in -- >> just haven't gotten around to it in the platform yet. >> exactly. i have known chuck hagel for years, and i have had a relationship, interaction, and i happen to have been accidentally at least maybe the only journalist or blogger at the time that talked to him a couple years ago about don't ask don't tell and the purges of muslim translators who happened to be gay working in intelligence services. he was appalled by it. he made very clear that he stood by -- >> we're losing good people. >> yeah, we were losing good people, and he was there. i think he's put out i think a really great apology to james hormel and hormel did a gracious -- >> what was he ambassador -- norway? >> luxembourg. michael guest who was a gay ambassador also came out in politico and issued a very fervent defense -- >> i saw that today. here is chuck hagel, he was under criticism from anti-gay groups for that comment he made. he called him openly aggressively gay. he recently apologized, and today tammy baldwin responded to the news of hagel's nomination. take a look on our network today. >> i plan to ask some tough questions, to give a thorough review, and to be fair, but i do
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want to speak with him particularly about his comments 14 years ago to see if his apology is sincere and sufficient. i want to hear how he's evolved on this issue in the last 14 years. >> senator kerrey, a lot of the opposition has been by what we call neoconservatives or hawks to keep it simple who basically don't think that he's got the same juice, the same instincts for warfare. what do you make of that? that he doesn't really want to fight as much as the hawks do, whether it's iran or whatever country. >> there's no evidence of that. first of all, he's already fought once. how much more does he have to do to prove he's willing to fight for his country? secondly, if you look at his record, the big question for chuck is, is it worth the cost? and that's something that our men and women in the military need to have somebody asking repeatedly because he fought in a war that was very popular in the beginning and unpopular at the end. we tend to get all worked up at
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the beginning and, oh, my god, people are dying and killing each other, and then we want to get out, and it's very difficult to get out once you started it. so i think you need to have somebody that's skeptical at the beginning, but he's certainly demonstrated very much what used to be mainstream, conservative thinking. i always thought of chuck as being sort of a reagan-style republican, believing that we achieve peace through strength and our military has to remain strong. it's just that the policy issue, you know, he voted for the iraq war and was very critical of the way it was conducted, and i think he was an honest critic. as it turns out, i think he was right. >> many of hagel's former colleagues criticize his nomination. take a listen to this attack. >> i have known chuck hagel. he's an honorable man. he's had a record of distinguished service, but he's profoundly wrong on a number of the most important national security issues that face our country today like denying iran nuclear weapons. >> hagel's record is very, very troubling on the nation of
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israel. he has not been a friend to israel, and in my view the united states should stand unshakably with the nation of israel, and he has consistently advocated weakness with respect to our enemies. >> chuck hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of israel in our nation's history. he has long severed his ties with the republican party. this is an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of israel. >> well, john mccain a fellow vietnam war vet, he released a statement after today's announcement saying, quote, chuck hagel served our nation with honor in vietnam, and i congratulate him on this nomination. i have serious concerns about the positions senator hagel has taken on a range of critical national security issues in recent years. you listen to some of this vitriol, it's like he's charles lindberg or something. i have been to israel so many
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times. you have doves in the community over there, you have moderates, people like perez who is almost godly in his love for peace. you got all kinds of people over there with different views. isn't the american secretary of defense allowed to have a particular view that's in the middle or slightly to the left or does it have to be bibi netanyahu to have -- >> if you go to tel aviv and look at the debate -- >> it's wide open. >> wide open. here it's much more -- >> if you're not for bibi, you're not considered pro-israel. >> chuck hagel is not a pacifist. number two, he's a war is last resort rather than war is first resort guy. i think that combined -- israel is obviously an important ally of the united states, but unless you're kicking the teeth in of israel's neighbors, then people are basically -- chuck hagel is no different than bob gates, no different than leon panetta, no different than anybody else in the obama administration. >> senator kerrey, you have been
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in politics all these years. what is the vehemence about? is it the sense he's just too much to the left of the right wing? what is the new standard for middle east politics in being secretary of defense for the united states? >> well, that's a good question. i think it's going to be proven in his testimony that he's a very strong supporter of the united states being a strong ally of israel. i mean, that's really the bottom line. are you willing to be an ally of israel, yes or no, and he's going to answer emphatically yes. his votes and his record confirm that. does he have disagreements from time to time with the prime minister of israel? the answer is yes. but, you know, i have disagreements from time to time with the president of the united states, but that doesn't mean i don't support the united states of america. so, i mean, i think the representations that he's going to be terrible for israel i just think is wrong. and i think when he gets before the armed services committee, i
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think he's going to impress the american people that he's able to do the most important thing, which is to represent the men and women who are serving in our military and to make certain they get the equipment and training necessary to carry out their mission and that he's going to be there when the debate is occurring as to whether or not we ought to go to war and remind people that often times it occurs, we get all enthusiastic, everybody is behind a war at the beginning, and all of a sudden we find out people are killing and dying, and we turn against it. he has been in an unpopular war, one that was popular in the beginning, became unpopular at the end, and our men and women in the military need that kind of voice when it comes time to putting up the balloon. >> well said. great to have you on, senator bob kerrey. thanks for coming on the show. steve clemons, thank you. split decision in the wake of president obama's re-election. the republican party is divided. that's being isolated and ignored by the right wingers. that's a problem for the gop. that southern dominance may sentence the entire party to irrelevance. conservative ideologues are itching for another fight with president obama, this time saying they may shut down the government altogether or risk a
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credit catastrophe. could somebody remind these guys who won the election, again. plus, the nra has made its position clear. the answer to gun violence, more guns. we have evidence that posting armed guards everywhere has the exact opposite effect. the latest battle lines as the obama administration moves to curb the availability of assault weapons. let me finish with why this nomination of chuck hagel should be given a solid, solid chance, and this is "hardball," the place for politics, hillary
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clinton is back at work at the state department. this morning she chaired the weekly meeting of the department's leadership team, and one thing on the agenda will be testifying on capitol hill about the benghazi attack that killed four americans. secretary clinton has been
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sidelined nearly a month after suffering a stomach bug, dehydration, a concussion, and then a blood clot. she's back, and that's great, and we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." you might have thought the north and south battles had been fought and won, but in today's republican party the rural conservative southern wing of the party seems to be taking down the northeastern republicans. you saw the fight break out in the delay over hurricane sandy relief funding. take a look at how the fiscal cliff vote broke down by region. the fiscal cliff vote. john writes about it in "the new republic." i love these numbers. all in all, 85 republicans voted for the senate resolution and 151 voted against it. the opposition was centered in the old south. southern republicans opposed the measure by 83 to 10. 83 to 10 down south. the delegations from alabama, mississippi, georgia, virginia, tennessee, and south carolina were unanimously opposed. in the east, the northeast, house republicans were 24 to 1 in favor, with new york and pennsylvania unanimous. well, the danger for the gop is
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it's becoming a religious sectional ultraconservative party great at winning and holding gerrymandered seats but too willing to sacrifice entire regions of the country. former congressman chris shays is a republican from connecticut, and howard fineman is editorial director of "the huffington post" as well as an msnbc political analyst and our pal and my pal. look, chris shays, it's great to have you on because you have always been my notion of a reasonable moderate republican from the moderate reasonable part of the country, meaning connecticut. see how i warm you up here? now my question is why have you guys been abandoned by the southern crowd? it's almost like the civil war went the other way, and the south somehow took over the party of lincoln, not that there's anything wrong with the south, but it's certainly made your party into a right wingish party. >> well, we're not going to be a national party of social conservatives basically destroyed any possibility of
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people in the northeast from getting elected who are republicans. it's just not going to happen. it's not the fiscal side that's of concern to people up north. it's their social agenda, which has nothing to do with running the country. >> did you ever read the republican platform this year? you ran for office this year. did you take a look at some of the stuff in there about outright -- >> chris, you know that no congressman ever has read the platform whether they're conservative or liberal. it's the most irrelevant document, but ultimately it can hurt some people who, you know, when others read it. it doesn't tell us how to vote. it's useless. >> i read it once in a while with great pleasure because it's so absurd. it is. howard fineman, i don't know who these turkeys are that write this thing. totally against same-sex marriage even though the country has moved that direction. i think they're practically against contraception. >> and against abortion rights.
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to give you an example of what's happened, i'm sure chris knows about this, in new hampshire there was a staunch but moderate republican family named the mclanes. there was malcolm and susan mclane. they were big supporters of george h.w. bush. the thornburgs, the bushes, you name it. that old crowd -- >> wait a minute. >> that old crowd from new england, specifically new hampshire, which is important in presidential politics. when president bush flipped his position on abortion and went the pro-life route, they had a falling out with h.w. they became democrats. their daughter, susan mclane kuster, was elected to congress as a democrat from an old line, 100-year-old republican family but as a democrat because of abortion rights, because of feminism, because of gay rights, because of adoption. you name it. it's what chris says. it's the social issues in particular that have really cleaved the party in half. >> congressman, i want you to look at the old ad.
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talk about regional politics. back in 1964 the lyndon johnson campaign ran this ad against barry goldwater who was openly disdainful of easterners. it's a funny ad. i hope you can imagine it. we're looking at it. >> in a "saturday evening post" article, barry goldwater said sometimes i think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the eastern seaboard and let it float out to sea. can a man who makes statements like this be expected to serve all the people justly and fairly? vote for president johnson on november 3rd. the stakes are too high for you to stay home. >> here we are -- >> he was not a social conservative. >> but here we are today with the northeast, i mean, we look at the fight over hurricane sandy and all the loud noise we heard from people like peter king and all saying, wait a minute, you guys, we're part of the party. we're getting treated like you treated katrina now. excuse me, not that bad. >> wasn't that $60 billion and
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shouldn't they have taken this step by step and not passed $60 billion? >> well, maybe that's a more fiscally conservative argument, but the message in "the new york daily news", new york headlines called attention to the sandy funding. we're talking politics here, congressman. in "the new york daily news," headline, "stabbed in the back, new york pols blast sandy betrayer boehner." and "the new york times" had -- >> you know what -- >> look at this, "stalling of storm aid makes northeast republicans furious." you weren't one of them? >> no. well, let me put it this way. i was unhappy that boehner didn't respond to the governor. he should have said, you know what? we're going to deal with this step by step, and in the first week of the new congress, we'll get it done. but we're not going to pass the $60 billion bill. that would have been a responsible way i think to communicate that. >> remember gerry ford losing a close election to jimmy carter
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after the headline ran, ford to new york, drop dead. >> part of this is pure politeness, but politeness relates to political power and tribal allegiance. john boehner didn't feel on the night of the big fiscal cliff vote either the energy or the responsibility or the sense of family ties, if you will, to the northeast republicans to make the kind of explanation that chris shays is talking about. he just blew them off. and that sent a big message -- >> that may be more of the story -- >> what? >> the more to the story may be john was concerned he wouldn't even get 85 votes to get this bill passed if he had included the northeast aid. i mean, we just don't know certain things that were happening -- >> but he didn't say any of that on that night. my point was he didn't care enough -- >> i bet -- >> i want to go -- >> -- about conversations he had with the president and so on. i happen to think john boehner is -- deserves more credit than he's getting. >> i like boehner, too, but i think he's overwhelmed by the right. we grew up in a country where there was clifford case from new jersey, hugh scott in pennsylvania, schweiker from pennsylvania and weicker from connecticut and ed brook from massachusetts and up and down
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the -- all these republicans from the northeast. they're blown away. the only person left i think is susan collins now. so what's wrong? what happened to the republican party of the northeast? the people watching tv right now, by the way. >> we have to be a party that focuses on the issues that bind us together, and they're not the social issues. a national party has got to give a member of congress or the senate the ability to represent their constituency, and a party that denies them that opportunity, they're not going to get elected. >> chris, you can't overstate the problem the republican party has with women voters. new hampshire used to be -- >> i know you can't. >> four male republicans -- >> credit to the senator in indiana, the candidate, and our candidate in missouri. they were just deadly. our brand is hurting badly. >> and the worst thing that could happen this election was the joke that said when you say the rape candidate, you have to say in that campaign which one,
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the missouri one or the indiana one? thank you, chris shays. it was that bad. you'll be back. thank you, chris shays. >> god bless. up next, why does iowa congressman steve king of all people keep pushing a bill to change the constitution when he's failed at it each time? he's trying to get rid of the 14th amendment. this is "hardball," the place for politics. back to "hardball." stress sweat. it can happen any time, to anyone! stress sweat is different than ordinary sweat. it smells worse. get 4x the protection against stress sweat. introducing new secret clinical strength stress response scent.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." the news came thursday that michele bachmann kicked off the new season of congress, the new session, by introducing a bill to repeal obama care, which made it the 34th such attempt by house republicans. iowa's steve king, another campus character of the right, has decided to champion a cause that he's tried before. king wants to quash or at least clarify the 14th amendment which protects birth right citizenship. back in 2010 king said, the framers did not consider the babies of illegals when they framed the 14th amendment
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because we didn't have immigration law at the time. so they could not have wanted to confer automatic citizenship on the babies of people who were unlawfully in the united states. well, king has racked up 13 co-sponsors for his latest edition of the birth right citizenship act, including the great birther louis gohmert. finally, the gop clown car is still rolling across the sagebrush. next, the 67 republicans who voted against hurricane sandy relief last week were panned from all sides, and not just by northeast republicans like chris christie, but talk about all politics being local. steve palazzo, one of the no votes, tried in 2005 to get cash for biloxi, a part of mississippi hit hard by katrina. this nugget showed up in a pamphlet at the time. we will rebuild and provide homes for those displaced, but we cannot do it until it's funded. we're ready to do the work, but we don't have the financial resources of our own. after last week's vote, his spokesperson said he was opposed to the bill for aid to the north
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because it did not include spending cuts. finally, if you thought the international enthusiasm for president obama had waned since 2008, check out the irish. the corgan brothers became a youtube sensation in 2008 with "there's no one as irish as barack obama." ♪ now four years since he said yes we can ♪ ♪ president barack is still the man ♪ ♪ there's been the crisis and lots of drama ♪ ♪ there's still no one as irish as barack obama ♪ ♪ came to ireland to monagle, and he was welcomed by all ♪ ♪ and with cousin henry had a guinness or two ♪ ♪ in january of 2013 the white house will still be just as green ♪ ♪ just like the election in 2008 and poor old mitt romney, well, he'll just have to wait ♪
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♪ o'leary, o'reilly, o'hara, there's still no one as irish as barack obama ♪ up next, the obama administration is moving forward with comprehensive gun control. critics on the right say the solution to gun violence is simple. more guns. we now have more evidence that more guns equals more killing. big surprise. that's ahead. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
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as a country we have been through this too many times, whether it's an elementary school in newtown or a shopping mall in oregon or a temple in wisconsin or a movie theater in aurora or a street corner in chicago. these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. and we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics. >> welcome back to "hardball." it's been 24 days now since the horrific shooting in newtown, connecticut, and this weekend we got the first bit of information on the size and scope of
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recommendations vice president biden's gun control task force may make. "the washington post" reported that they include universal background checks for gun buyers. a national database to track gun sales. strengthening mental health checks on gun buyers and stiffer penalties for carrying guns in school zones or giving them to minors. this is in stark contrast to the nra's proposed solution, arming the good guys as they put it. here is the nra's wayne lapierre a week after the newtown massacre. let's listen to him. >> the only way to stop a monster from killing our kids is to be personally involved and invested in a plan of absolute protection. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. i call on congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. >> joining me is rebecca peters, the former director of the international action network on small arms. she's seen evidence worldwide
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that arming the good guys doesn't keep people safe. and joy reid, of course, is managing editor of the grio and an msnbc contributor. thank you, ladies, for joining us tonight. i want rebecca to start because this is your expertise. what do we know works, and if you look at the biden stuff that's leaked out from the biden task force about a database, about background checks, i'm grabbed by the australian -- where you're from originally -- the australian method of basically a long background -- who needs a gun real fast? let people find out who you are, check out your mental record, your police record, everything, find out about you before they decide to let you buy that gun. that looks like something that might pass muster in this country. but your thoughts. what do you think would work? what do you think would pass? >> well, in terms of what would work, i'm very encouraged by this suggestion that the task force is considering a package
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of reforms rather than just one thing or another because what we see in countries where -- and, in fact, in states in the u.s. where gun violence has been significantly reduced is in response to comprehensive reforms. so in australia, in my country, as you mentioned, we have a gun licensing system that involves a 28-day waiting period, and in that time there's exhaustive checks done not only of your, you know, formal criminal record, not only whether you've been convicted of violent crimes because the fact is most people -- most people who commit homicide, for example, they don't have a prior conviction for violent crime like that. usually that's the first time they commit a really serious violent crime, and by the time that happens, it's too late. so what we're doing in australia is comprehensive checks, also safe storage requirements, also controls on ammunition, controls on -- and taking into account all the circumstances of the case. recognizing that a gun is a lethal product, made for
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killing, and bringing it into your house and into your community is a very serious decision, and, you know, that kind of an approach has allowed australia to reduce by about 50% our rates of gun violence, and yet we still have sport shooting, we still have hunting, people are still able to have guns in australia. it's just that it's within the bounds of what's reasonable in a democracy. >> you know, i love australian movies, and i think you have a lot of our cowboy character. joy, your thoughts about our cultural realities in this country, not just cultural but constitutional. we've got a second amendment. i don't know what other country has anything like the second amendment, but we darn well have it. how do we live with it and live through it? >> and we also have this novel interpretation since the '70s and' 80s that it's about an individual right rather than a militia. if you look at the package of reforms being offered by the obama administration, they are
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looking at the commerce around guns, things the government can go ahead and regulate. in some cases that the obama administration could just do because it's regulating the dealers. it's regulating the sellers, and that's one thing that i think is doable even if congress were to resist. and what i mean -- >> kill these gun shows? i would love to see that. >> i don't know if you can do much about that, but you can force them to abide by the background checks that a licensed dealer has to abide by. even at a gun show you have to be licensed. since the government is giving you that license and you do not have a constitutional right to a license to deal guns, the government can regulate it there. and i think your other guest is exactly right. you have got to look at things like if you buy five or more guns at a time or in a week, why can't you get the same scrutiny
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or at least have that reported the same way it would happen if you tried to deposit $10,000 in your bank account and you would have a red flag with your bank? there are things the government can do to regulate the commerce side which i think are common sense. >> this weekend the republicans and democrats reacted to the plan. first, newly elected ted cruz of texas followed by newly elected democratic senator and nra member heidi heitkamp of north dakota. >> every parent was horrified at what happened there, to see 20 children, 6 adults senselessly murdered. it takes your breath away. but within minutes we saw politicians run out and try to exploit this tragedy, try to push their political agenda of gun control. >> you need to put everything on the table, but what i hear from the administration and if "the washington post" is to be believed, that's way an extreme of what i think is necessary or even should be talked about. and it's not going to pass.
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>> rebecca, see the problem in this country. you know it. there you have ted cruz, a well-educated right winger like pat robertson. it's like they flush out their high educations when they get out of school for political purposes. talking about this being a political -- it's not anybody's political agenda. the only person who wants to have gun control is somebody who is scared of what the gun has been doing. it's nothing but trouble to be for gun control. you don't get any votes for that, but there you have a guy talking out of his whatever about how somehow it's a political agenda. what do we do in a country that can't talk gun control without being accused of advantageous personal politics? >> it's interesting because, you know, nobody stands to make money either from prevention. i guess in these sort of moments you think who stands to benefit from policies that are going to promote more sales of guns? who stands to benefit from policies of prevention?
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it's the general public. nobody makes money out of people being -- not being hurt or killed, and i guess if you think about the motivation, it isn't political. it's about prevention and recognizing that there isn't -- you know, in the real world there are things that can be done. it's well-established now in the public health community. we know that violence can be prevented and that it can be approached in a rational way just like so many other problems. i mean, it's amazing that in the u.s. this method -- this agent of injury that kills over 30,000 people a year has not been able to be approached in a rational way because of the politicking which is really from the other side. but i think the point about universal background checks, that is, i think, the single most important measure that will make a difference. >> i agree. thank you so much. i have to go to joy for the last word. excuse me. joy, how much time do we have before this issue gets dull again because we haven't had a recent horror? >> exactly. >> how much time do we have to get something done here? >> i'm always skeptical of waiting because i feel like it goes out of the news cycle, but look, i know we have one party that's averse to the idea of
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facts and data, but the data shows the more guns there are in a region or country, the more gun deaths there are. that's why south is a clear outlier versus the rest of the country. that's why the u.s. is a clear outlier. the data is clear on this, and rebecca made the most important point. the only people who stand to gain by not doing gun control are people who sell guns, and who represents them? the nra. the nra is trying to find ways to market and sell more guns because that's the product their clients sell. >> thank you, rebecca peterson, thank you, joy reid. up next, republicans are threatening to shut down the government again if they don't get their way in the upcoming debt ceiling fight. did he forget who won the election? this is "hardball," the place for politics. progresso this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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i helped close the government twice. it actually worked. bill clinton came in and said the era of big government is over after two closers, not before. >> wow. the expert on government closing, newt gingrich. we're back, and we have rung in 2013. but some republicans are acting like it's 1995 again. conservatives are actually talking about shutting down government in order to get their desired spending cuts. take a look at arizona congressman matt salmon on cbs yesterday. >> i believe that that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus as we went forward to push to work some real serious compromise. i think it drove bill clinton in a different direction, a very bipartisan direction. we also balanced the budget for
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the first time in 40 years in 1997, 1998, 1999. and when i left we had over a $230 billion surplus. this is with a democrat president, a republican congress. >> you think it's a good idea? >> i do. it's about time. >> you can spot a real bipartisan guy when he uses democrat as an adjective. it's fighting words. salon's joan walsh and david corn, not of the right either one of them, our msnbc political analysts, thanks. it's great to be back at work here. i've been on vacation. something never changes, joan, and your smiling face reminds me of it. the right wing never changes its tactics. screw the government, bring it down, scream, yell, mommy, mommy, i don't like it here, do your usual crazy acrobatics. meanwhile, we lose our credit rating. the government once again falls into disrepute and the world laughs at us. your thoughts. >> there is one important thing here, and that is some of them have moved away from using the debt ceiling as the big cudgel
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on the government. even newt gingrich himself said he didn't think the debt court of appealing is the big thing. everyone shifted to government shutdown. that didn't help president clinton. it didn't hurt him. gives president obama more leverage. it's very hard to see him facing saying okay, let's just default. it is possible to see him with the example of president clinton and with the new strength that he has standing up and saying, okay, we don't want you to shut it down, but if we have to, we're not going to have any hostage taking anymore. it's a little bit different, chris. >> once again, joan has taught me something i didn't know, or at least i forgot a long time ago. the american public thinks the president has the responsibility to keep things going. >> i think newt gingrich is somewhat delusional. >> this is a news show. can you give me news? >> i was expecting him to say afterwards, "and you know, i won the presidential 2012 nomination." he is like an aging starlet.
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remember back when i almost won the academy awards back in 1995? i'm ready for my close-up, mr. demille. but it's delusional for them to think that the politics works for them. but i think joan is right. and the fact that if they move to that, it's better for president. although i don't think that all the house tea party members, republicans have consigned themselves to not fighting -- >> let's take a look at it if we can. mitch mcconnell is the senate leader of the republican party. let's take a look at what he said yesterday. i think this will bring us up to date on state-of-the-art shutting down the government. >> would you rule out a government shutdown to achieve your goals? >> what i think we ought to do is to encourage the president to actually be president, address the single biggest issues. >> i understand. my question is would you rule out a government shutdown? >> i know what your question. what i'm telling you is i haven't given up on the president stepping up to the
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plate. >> well, there is a new way to answer a question. i know what your question is, david gregory. i'm just not going to answer it. it sounds like mitch mcconnell would be the first one to throw a monkey wrench into the system. what is his gain? >> well, i think he is ready for a shutdown. i don't know that he would be ready to refuse to lift the debt ceiling. but, you know, he cease himself as having won something in the fiscal cliff go-round, chris, and so -- and i think that boehner sees himself as having lost something and needing to win back the fealty of those tea party republicans. so i still think we're in for an ugly few months. but i think they -- if they won't do the debt ceiling, they have less leverage. >> what a country. let's drop left wing, right wing for a second. we're the country of the world, we're the role model, we're the city in the hill, right? what a joke teaching democracy this way. >> i'm not sure the framers of the constitution envisioned a day when the members of congress would hold the president hostage. >> and not pay their debts. >> by not paying their bills. you have the cr, the continuing resolution that funds the government running out in march. you have the sequester deadline, which they couldn't deal with
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this time. they kicked down the road to march 1. and you have the debt ceiling hitting about the same time. so you have three cliffs. it's going to be a three ring cliff, a three cliff circus, whatever you want to call it, coming up very soon. and if you have this group that doesn't believe in compromise, it's going to be very hard to get through this without a lot of blood in the water. >> i hope this goes' way. anyway, thank you. the tactic ought to go away. it ought to be about building, not destroying. thank you, david corn. joan walsh, to see your smiling face, i know i'm back. >> welcome back. >> burping on that one. when we return, why i think the nomination for chuck hagel should be given. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. intermezzo is the first and only prescription sleep aid approved for use as needed in the middle of the night when you can't get back to sleep. it's an effective sleep medicine you don't take before bedtime. take it in bed only when you need it and have at least four hours left for sleep. do not take intermezzo if you have had an allergic reaction to drugs containing zolpidem, such as ambien.
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